It’s hours after the game finished and I’m still trying to catch my breath! That was magnificent with a capital M.
How wonderful was it to hear the Camp Nou in full voice again. Rising as one time and again as Barca stepped on the gas against the reigning La Liga champions.
This wasn’t the usual Atletico Madrid under Diego Simeone. Something has gone badly wrong at the Wanda Metropolitano over the last few weeks.
That shouldn’t cloud the magnificence of the team performance, or that of certain individuals.
I refer in part of course to Adama Traore. Yes the same Adama Traore whom I suggested wouldn’t be worth the paper he was signed on.
My caveat is that this was only one game, but my goodness, what a threat he posed each time he had the ball.
21 - It took only 21 minutes for Adama Traoré to assist a goal on his return to Barcelona, after not providing an assist in any of his final 29 appearances in all competitions for Wolves (last doing so in April 2021 against Sheffield United). Product. pic.twitter.com/7Kpram53yo— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) February 6, 2022
More to the point, there was end product.
In his final 20 games for Wolves, he didn’t register a single assist, yet took only 21 minutes to deliver back at Barca. More of the same please.
And then there is Dani Alves.
Dani, Dani, Dani, you incorrigible, beautiful bugger you.
A sublime assist to set up what will surely be Barca’s goal of the season from Jordi Alba, followed by a superb first-time finish to ensure that he became the club’s oldest ever goalscorer.
Jordi Alba with an absolute BEAUTY of a volley!— Premier Sports (@PremierSportsTV) February 6, 2022
Barca come up with an immediate response after Carrasco gave Atleti an early lead pic.twitter.com/jVozTS9956
The smiles on everyone’s faces said it all.
His red card was regrettable but I wouldn’t hold that against him on a day where virtually everything went right for the Blaugranes.
Dani Alves hammers in a 4th for Barcelona against Atletico Madrid!— Premier Sports (@PremierSportsTV) February 6, 2022
It's just like old times at Camp Nou today pic.twitter.com/hUOSHyIwNZ
Gavi, Pedri, Ronald Araujo and Frenkie all deserve more than a cursory mention in dispatches too.
If there was one issue, it was clearly one that Xavi identified too and that was defensive positioning on occasion.
Gavi (17) and Dani Alves (38) on the scoresheet together.— Tim Lee (@timjollylee) February 6, 2022
When Gavi was born in the Province of Seville, Alves had already played 46 matches for Sevilla.
On another day the back line could’ve been exposed. That they weren’t says much about the guiding presence of Gerard Pique. He has his critics but is still the best defender at the club.
In his next appearance he will leapfrog Carles Puyol, and who would’ve said that when he used to act the clown to Puyol’s straight man a decade or so ago.
Sunday was a day to be proud to be a Barca supporter again. Football has that great gift of making you feel like ten feet tall after a performance like that. Worries are for another day.
A billion euros in debt? So what. Barca are back!